The Weekly Wonk – September 9, 2011

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week at OK Policy, we released a new issue brief on the implications of raising Oklahoma’s alcoholic beverage tax.  Our blog post, Should we increase the tax on alcohol?, explored the prevalence of and costs associated with alcohol abuse and explored arguments for raising the tax.  Our Labor Day blog post recommended an Atlantic Monthly article on the plight of the vanishing middle class.

Also this week, we featured an interview with the Oklahoma City Branch Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Chad Wilkerson, about economic conditions in Oklahoma, which are still looking ‘pretty solid.’  Yesterday’s guest blog post from Peter Fisher, research director for the Iowa Policy Project, set the record straight on who pays taxes – everyone.

OK Policy analyst Kate Richey commented on the racial unemployment gap for the Oklahoma News Report:

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 2.5 million – Number of workers who need a job and are available to work, but are not counted in official unemployment figures because they’ve given up actively seeking employment, August 2011
  • 26 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma’s 9,802 same-sex couples that are raising children, 2010
  • 40th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally on students’ average ACT math score, 2011
  • $13,900 – The average debt per consumer in Oklahoma, compared to $17,000 per consumer nationally, 2nd quarter 2011
  • 2.83 percent – The effective state income tax rate of a joint-filing married couple with two children and $50,000 in income, 2011


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